Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves: Dolmathakia Yialantzi

This meatless version of dolmathakia is a favorite both as a meze and as main course. The stuffing is a combination of rice and vegetables (yialantzi means there's no meat).

If anything, this version is more popular than others that include ground meat.
Serve stuffed grape leaves warm or at room temperature, and get creative with a condiment or sauce. They're great just drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, or served with plain yogurt, tzatziki, or a béchamel sauce.

Preparation time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 5 - 6


· 60 - 70 vine leaves
· 2 cups of Carolina or Arborio rice
· 1 big onion, finely chopped
· 4 - 5 spring onions
· 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
· ½ cup of finely chopped dill (optional)
· 2 – 3 tablespoons of dried mint or 1/2 cup fresh mint
· ¾ cup of olive oil
· 3 - 4 grated ripe tomatoes
· 3/4 tablespoon salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
· 1 cup of water


1. Wash the vine leaves and boil them for five minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain.

2. Wash the rice and place it in a big bowl.

3. Add the onions, parsley, mint, dill, salt and pepper, 1/2 of grated tomatoes and 1/2 of the oil and mix well. For instructions on how to wrap the dolmades you can see my step by step instructions given here.

4. Add the water and the remaining oil and tomatoes.

5. Place the lid on top and cook for half hour.

Wrap the rice mixture with the grape leaves. This is the most difficult and time consuming part, although after you are through it a couple of times you enjoy it the most. It is better if two people work on it simultaneously, talking, joking etc. You want to make them small in size (about 2 inches.) Discard the central stem of these leaves. You want to wrap the rice very tightly.

You place the rice in one end, fold from the wide end and the two sides and then roll while pushing the rice downwards to pack it really tight.

You have to do it a couple of times to understand. If they are not tightly packed they will unroll later. Also be careful to wrap totally, do not leave any holes.

You arrange the dolmadakia in a casserole, tightly. Make more than one layers. Add the lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil and 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Cover them with a plate or something to keep them in place. Let them simmer for 35 minutes.
Serve then cold, with strained yogurt or taramosalata. Enjoy.


  1. wow this sounds very nice I can use to my generic viagra lab party and make some joke haha
    Thanks for sharing, nice recipe.